The text of the talk given by Mary Tilki on dementia during the masses of Sunday 19th May.

Dementia Awareness Week  May 19th – 25th

“It’s time to talk about dementia”

Because we are all living longer, society is facing increasing numbers of people with dementia. It is estimated that there are about 800, 000 people with dementia in Britain and that this will rise to I million by 2025.  It affects about one in a hundred people in the 65-69 age band, one in 25 in the 70-79 and about one in six over 80.  Even if we don’t get it ourselves, it will affect members of our family, our social circle and our parish community.

Dementia is not a natural part of growing old and it is caused by diseases of the brain – the best known is probably Alzheimer’s Disease.  Every person is different but the common signs are memory loss, especially memory for recent events, forgetting our words, not being able to concentrate, changes in mood and behaviour.  People whose first language is not English may also forget their English despite having used it effectively for several decades.

Serves you and many

Cream these ingredients, that by their comingling you may begin to make the dough: 1 chalice butter, 2/3 chalice sugar.

In a similar way, when the butter is consubstantial with the sugar, beat in: 1 egg.

Gather these dry ingredients to yourself and combine them, so that you may add them to the dough which you have already begun to make: 2 ½ chalices sifted all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Mix the precious dough with your venerable hands.

Your Bible: Every Catholic's Essential Companion by Noel Donnelly

Your Bible: Every Catholic's Essential Companion

The author, Noel Donnelly, will be familiar to anyone who reads the Sunday Plus newsletter, as he is a regular contributor. Having read his articles, which clearly explain Biblical passages, I noticed he had written this book and ordered a copy.

The book is A4 format and full of colour photographs. It's a book that is what it says: an essential guide. It is easy to dip into, to read a couple of pages on an aspect of the Bible and then to reflect on it (as indeed the author encourages us to do).


On Mothers’ Day in March I and other scouts hosted a cake sale in the hall after masses to help fund our trip to Namibia. Thanks to the generosity of everyone in the parish, the trip went ahead and was a huge success.

Early in August we flew to the capital, Windhoek, where we spent a day meeting Namibian scouts and sightseeing. The next day we drove to the north, to a small village not far from the Angolan border, Tsintsabis. There we camped for a week and began the work of planting an orange grove – together with irrigation. This community project was supported by the Namibian Government who will provide ongoing support over the coming years. We were greeted by the Chief’s daughter, Alle, and the local children, who serenaded us with some songs of welcome. Throughout our stay we were humbled by the hospitality shown us and the lasting friendships which developed.

A stranger moved into a small  village and, that evening, walked into the local pub and ordered three beers. The bartender raised his eyebrows but served the man three beers, which he drank quietly at a table, alone. An hour later, the man had finished the three beers and ordered three more.

The next evening the man again ordered and drank three beers at a time. Soon the entire town was whispering about the Man Who Orders Three Beers. Finally, a week later, the bartender broached the subject on behalf of the village. "I don't mean to pry, my friend, but folks around here are wondering why you always order three beers?"

"'Tis odd, isn't it?" the man replies, "You see, I have two brothers, and one went to America, and the other to Australia. We promised each other that we would always order an extra two beers whenever we drank as a way of keeping up the family bond." 

The bartender and the whole town was pleased with this answer, and soon the Man Who Orders Three Beers became a local celebrity and source of pride to the hamlet, even to the extent that out-of-towners would come to watch him drink.

Then, one day, the man came in and ordered only two beers. The bartender poured them with a heavy heart. This continued for the rest of the evening. The word flew around town – he’s only ordering two beers. Prayers were offered for the soul of one of the brothers.

The next day, the bartender said to the man, "The people of the village all want to offer condolences to you for the death of your brother, you know, the two beers and all..."

The man pondered this for a moment, then replied, "You'll be happy to hear that my two brothers are alive and well. ’Tis just that I, meself, have decided to give up drinking for Lent."